Hitting The Wall
Oops I did it again! Its funny that no matter how much I have learned over the years in managing my illness, I still have times where I realize how much further I have to go. This week was no exception as I did what I have done so many times before. I hit the wall.
It didn’t seem like this week was exceptionally bad or stressful. I worked a regular forty hours and had some evening meetings for my volunteer activities. It appeared pretty regular for the most part. Perhaps a tad busier than usual but no biggie. But I also did a few things that sapped a lot of my emotional energy. I hosted a virtual event at work where I talked a little bit about my story and also shared some of the stigma and discrimination I’ve encountered over the years. I closed up camp Saturday morning, which is tough because it truly is my happy place. Then I participated in a Forum about mental health and listened to some heartbreaking stories from other advocates. I also had a million things to do this weekend and was worrying constantly about how I would fit it all in. Looking back now, things had been building up all week.
All of a sudden today, my body told the tale. I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I couldn’t get off the couch. I slept for a few hours and then had to drag myself up to eat dinner. Even as I write this, I can feel the fatigue and am resisting the urge to curl up with my blanket and a book and drift off. While all the things I mentioned may seem fairly insignificant to someone else, for me they are important because instead of being self-aware, I got too caught up in the external and forgot to take care of the internal. Pacing my activities has never been an easy thing for me. I get excited about my work and volunteer activities. Giving back means a lot to me. It just feels good. However, the self-aware part of me forgot that its been well over nine months since I did a speaking engagement and mental fatigue always comes with that. There is a lot going on within the disability and family movements (my volunteer life) right now and in checking my messages, I realize that there were way more than usual lately. In being this busy, I haven’t talked to friends much and I need those connections on a regular basis. All told, I built the wall I hit without realizing it.
The good news is I now recognize right away when this happens, even as I work towards doing better at stopping it in the first place. The toolbox came out today. I slept and didn’t allow myself to feel guilty. I took things slow and accomplished small goals instead of worrying about all the big ones. My house has been filled with the smells of essential oils (my peppermint, eucalyptus, and lavender combo is the best!) for the whole afternoon. And I am writing. That wall comes up to remind me to take a breather. My goal is to one day not need it but that takes time. The nice thing is that over the years my impact in to the wall has become less and less hard. I recover from it faster and faster. I know tomorrow will be a much better day simply because I recognized the hit and did what I needed to do to soften it. And, most important of all, I forgave myself for letting it happen.